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The Stories Behind 80/81


A Collection of Commentaries and Interviews

Featuring Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, and Joshua Redman

Long considered one of the essential Metheny recordings – not to mention an important part of any music collection – 80/81 continues to hold its stance as a pivotal recording for composition, artistry, and improvisation.

To help you dive a little deeper and get more perspective on the inspiration behind and making of 80/81, we've put this this collection of interview and commentary outtakes together.  It includes input from Pat and others, stretched across PMRadio, a Podcast, and two special commentaries by Pat and Joshua Redman.

Give them a listen and share your thoughts with us here, in the Garage, or on Facebook

- The Metheny Web Masters


"I just loved all four of them [Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Michael Brecker, and Dewey Redman]. They were kind of all my favorites in a way. And that was what got me writing the music for that record …was just hearing their sounds in my head.” Recording 80/81 “was just an unbelievable experience… a really magical recording session that, for at least a couple of us, was life-changing. I know that Mike Brecker always talked about that record as for him, there was ‘everything before 80/81 and there was everything after 80/81.’”

Catch the full podcast.

80/81 Podcast

Commentary: Pat Metheny 

“…In terms of the composition itself, it’s got a couple of things about it that I’ve done a lot of work on to try to write tunes that have different sections and different tempos, that compositionally have a kind of development over a form that’s not necessarily just a straight song form. The blowing is on a kind of a different form than the melodic material.. But, all of that is kind of nothing compared to the emotional weight that I think Mike brought to the way he played the melody.” Pat shares his thoughts on saxophonist Michael Brecker and his performance on “Every Day (I Thank You)” from 80/81.

Listen to the full interview outtake, recorded with Pat in early 2011.

Commentary: Joshua Redman

"“One thing that I really love about the way my Dad plays, these fast burning, free tempos. He manages to convey tremendous velocity, and intensity, and energy without playing strict eighth note time.” Saxophonist, Joshua Redman Reflects on his father's performance on 80/81 and approach to solos.

Listen to the full interview outtake, recorded with Joshua in March, 2011.



Thanks so much! Great insights into this monumental record. Very timely too (for me at least) as it was the Unity Band project that sent me back to (re)discover 80/81. Would love to see this kind of treatment for other classic Pat releases (how about Travels?). Would also really love to hear some of the 80/81 material like Two Folk Songs and Every Day I Thank You on next year's tour with Chris on Tenor.
Love the insight!
80/81 is dear to my heart.
Love Jack on that set of tunes also
One of my fave albums from Pat...the commentary is priceless. Thanks everyone for putting this out!
I caught that tour at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago when it was in the basement under a disco.
I sat at the bar and was able to talk to Pat and Charlie briefly.
It was an incredible show with a major change in Pat's music. It really showed how good and versatile he is. It was like everybody's band not just Pat's.

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